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TinotopiaLog → Neologism: Extreme Dummy ( 3 May 2004)
Monday 03 May 2004

Neologism: Extreme Dummy

I propose the following term: Extreme Dummy.

Dummy here is used as it’s used by the publishers of the Dummies books. They’re not really suggesting that their customers are stupid; it’s just that while you might know something about, say, high finance, you can still be totally clueless — a ‘dummy’ — about other things.

Everyone’s a dummy about most things, and the Dummies series fills a real need: most books about a given topic assume a certain familiarity or even expertise with the material, and until the rise of the Dummies phenomenon, the novice had the choice of following a course of expensive and lengthy formal training, or of jumping into the topic in medias res and struggling for a while until he figured out what was going on.

The Dummies books provide a good introduction to a now vast number of topics, giving the reader the necessary background to be able to evaluate other books, formulate Google searches, etc. in order to learn more.

An Extreme DummyXD for short — is someone who cannot or will not be helped by the Dummies books or by other methods of foundational instruction in a given field. The Platonic XD reads the Dummies book on a given topic and is just as helpless afterwards as before. Extreme Dummies are usually people who have concluded that they don’t understand a thing because understanding is impossible, and so no amount of education or training will make any difference.

Posted by tino at 13:10 3.05.04
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